This webpage previously showed the 1996 NAEP TEST, to reveal how almost all of it examines the student's values, beliefs, attitudes, and personal background, not knowledge or academic excellence.
However, the new federal education mandate signed into law January, 2002, "No Child Left Behind," entirely freezes the opportunity for free public speech on the NAEP. The new law makes it a felony offense to use, discuss or show any NAEP questions.
The law reads:
Title 6, Part C, Section 602 (c)
"(4) PENALTIES- Any unauthorized person who knowingly discloses, publishes, or uses assessment questions, or complete and current assessment instruments of any assessment authorized under this section may be fined as specified in section 3571 of title 18, United States Code or charged with a class E felony."
This new languange was added to force MREdCo to remove the NAEP excerpts posted on our website. These excerpts have provided public accountability for the first time since NAEP's inception in 1969. For the first time in its history, the public discovered that 66% of the questions were personal data gathering. For the first time ever, research was conducted on the kind of worldview that the NAEP was designed to measure. Never before has this kind of analysis been possible, because never before have the actual tests been open to the public.
Making it a felony to disclose, publish or use assessment questions or assessment instruments is a violation of the rights of free speech as recognized and protected by our U.S. Constitution.
The public may have access to reviewing the NAEP, but only under carefully limited circumstances. Clearly, the law intends to muzzle any effort on the part of citizens to study, analyze or publicly critique the NAEP.
The law reads:
Title 6, Part C, Section 602 (c) "(1) PUBLIC ACCESS-
(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (3), parents and members of the public shall have access to all assessment data, questions, and complete and current assessment instruments of any assessment authorized under this section. The local educational agency shall make reasonable efforts to inform parents and members of the public about the access required under this paragraph.
(B) TIMELINE- The access described in this paragraph shall be provided within 45 days of the date the request was made, in writing, and be made available in a secure setting that is convenient to both parties.
(C) PROHIBITION- To protect the integrity of the assessment, no copy of the assessment items or assessment instruments shall be duplicated or taken from the secure setting."
The law allows the public to make complaints, submitted in writing, to the National Assessment Governing Board and to the Secretary of Education. This becomes extremely difficult to do, however, since the public may not copy or take assessment items or instruments when reviewing the test. Moreover, the public comments themselves are not publicly revealed, but are kept in secret, with no public disclosure or public debate. So far as effective voter wrath is concerned, the NAEP is a secret test.
Clearly, the NAEP is shrouded in secrecy. Yet it sets the standards for all state assessments, for curriculum, for textbooks and for teacher training in every school district in this country. It is the foundation for and the primary enforcement tool of the new federal curriculum.
No other assessment ought to have more public scrutiny and access than the NAEP.